Tomorrow the build-up to the 2014 Super Bowl begins in earnest.
It used to be that Super Bowl advertising was just that: Super Bowl advertising. Companies would buy some time, develop a spot and hope it generated some discussion and buzz the following day. The more sophisticated advertisers would add a bit of print into the mix, perhaps running an ad in the USA Today the following morning.
Things have changed.
The Super Bowl is now a multi-media marketing spectacle. Companies advertising on the game will work very hard to get attention and discussion in the two weeks leading up to kick-off. They will use teaser television spots, social media campaigns, promotions and PR efforts.
Last week I spoke with a notable Super Bowl advertiser who reported that he now thinks of the Super Bowl as a month-long event.
A few advertisers have already gotten started. Jaguar and Axe rolled out campaigns last week. Soda Stream announced its spokesperson. And it was impossible to miss the teaser spots from Bud Light on yesterday’s playoff games.
Here is one of Bud Light’s many teaser spots:
This is the teaser spot from Butterfinger peanut butter cups:
I suspect Super Bowl advertisers will be fairly quiet today; it seems wrong to launch a splashy new advertising campaign on Martin Luther King Day.
Tomorrow, however, the frenzy will set in.
If you want to see the state of marketing today, follow a few of the Super Bowl advertisers and watch what they do. Look at how they use Facebook, Twitter, promotions, a website and PR.
The stakes are very high and every Super Bowl advertiser wants to win the next two weeks.
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This weekend I’ll be taking a break from tracking Super Bowl advertising to help lead the Kellogg Healthcare and Biotech Case Competition. Eleven teams of students from business schools around the world are coming to Kellogg to compete. It is a global event with teams from the UK, Mexico and Canada. This year’s case is about reducing childhood pneumonia in Uganda, a major global healthcare challenge.